What happens if you miss a court date for a traffic violation?

First Steps

If you have a traffic violation, you must act. You cannot wish it away. You need to pay your fine before the date on which it is due or choose to contest the ticket, in which case you must go to court.

Examine your citation. If you are required to go to court. Do not miss it. You must appear in court on your citation.

What happens if you miss a court date for a traffic violation?

Missing your court date for a small traffic violation could result in being charged with a misdemeanor. If charged with a misdemeanor you possibly are looking at up to six months in jail and a large fine of up to $1000 dollars.

The stakes are high for a traffic violation, your insurance can increase and your driver’s license can be affected.

You have 90 days to pay your fine. However, what happens if you miss a court date for a traffic violation? Failing to appear will result in a bench warrant declared by the judge. This is when the police have a warrant for your arrest.

Understand that if you have missed your court date and a warrant has been issued for your arrest. You could be arrested unexpectedly if you are pulled over for a minor infraction.

The good news is that you have 30 days to make it right. If you do not make the proper steps then additional charges will be against you. You will be charged with failure to appear.

Reschedule! Do not miss your court date

If you are sure that you are not able to make it to court for a vital reason such as a mandatory medical procedure, try to reschedule rather than failing to appear.

Excuses like forgetting or personal plans will not be justified. And certainly, if you flee the state to avoid your court date, you will be looking at more charges to your name.


There are traffic violations that are infractions in which you will not face jail time. Non-moving traffic violations, parking, and moving violations are a few examples.

There is a chance that a non-moving violation could be charged as a misdemeanor.

If so, you could possibly be looking at time in jail. However, for these, jail time is unlikely.

Even a moving violation, such as a speeding ticket could be punished as a misdemeanor. However, just like a parking ticket violation, it is rare for these to be prosecuted as a misdemeanor.


Be aware of the demerit system in Nevada. Every traffic violation is assigned a demerit point.

For each violation, the amount of demerits is added. If your violation points have added up to 12 demerits, you will be looking at a suspended driver’s license.

Suspensions can be six months to a year with restricted allowances like travel to work.

You have the option to take a course to get 3 of the demerits taken off. After a year, your suspended license will be renewed and you start over with your demerits.

The citation never leaves your record even after the demerits points are cleared. Your traffic record can be sealed, though.

If you have a major violation, such as a DUI, you are looking at up to seven years before that record can be sealed.

It is recommended to hire a lawyer  to help you in your traffic violation case.

What do I do if I miss my court date?

Call the clerk’s office, call your bail bond agency, and call your lawyer.

Your lawyer especially will help you get your case cleared.

To learn more about how to pay a ticket online, check out the Nevada Courts Pay A Ticket page.

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